A Monstrous Canadian Miscarriage Of Justice About To Unfold
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â by Robin Mathews
May 7, 2010
Part Four in the series on the Gordon Campbell BC Rail Scandal.
The miscarriage of justice about to unfold is what I call Ã¢â‚¬Å“the staged trialÃ¢â‚¬Â about to begin (May 17) as a result of the corrupt transfer of publicly-owned BC Rail to privately (in fact) U.S.-owned CNR.
Canadians sleep-walk through the takeover of their society by thugs and political adventurists.Ã‚Â The signs are clear.Ã‚Â In Ottawa the cynical Stephen Harper attacks the Supremacy of Parliament [the fundamental safeguard against undemocratic takeover]. His power grab is debated as a question of the need to Ã¢â‚¬Å“compromiseÃ¢â‚¬Â on solutions to the denial of essential information to elected representatives. Those men and women,Ã‚Â elected by Canadians, stand embarrassingly naked, (simply) stripped of their power to represent the people who elect them. (And their condition is blurred, misrepresented, and misreported by the Ã¢â‚¬Å“boughtÃ¢â‚¬Â mainstream press and media.)
In Alberta, government allies itself with corporations to produce a (planned) almost unsupervised looting of community and environment Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in the tar sands rape.Ã‚Â The whole world notices what Canadians shut theirÃ‚Â eyes to. The April (Paris, France) Ã¢â‚¬ËœLe Monde diplomatiqueÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ features a huge spread on the subject.Ã‚Â [translation] Ã¢â‚¬Å“The conservatives in power in Alberta have transformed, with the aid of Ottawa, the north of the province into a supermarket of dirty oil for the profit of multinationals and their U.S. neighbour.Ã‚Â The boreal forest is being sacrificed as are the first nations of the region.Ã¢â‚¬Â The story concentrates on the cynical erasure of native rights Ã¢â‚¬â€œwhich in recent decades have been a symbol that Canadian democracy was alive and demanding universal equality.
In British Columbia I allege that the Gordon Campbell government – aided by a depressingly servile journalism (mainstream and other) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ is engaged in an almost incredible collaboration with RCMP, the higher courts, and the formal political Opposition (poster-group for the failure of Opposition in Canada) – asleep, bribed, or stupid Ã¢â‚¬â€œ to hand the province to thugs and political adventurists.
That involves, as we will see, the calculated destruction of law and the administration of justice in the province.
Public wealth is being gifted to private corporations by sleight-of-hand, often in secret contracts, and Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I allege Ã¢â‚¬â€œ by criminal activity (elaborately uninvestigated by the RCMP).Ã‚Â The tax burden is being lifted from the corporations-in-close-cooperation with the Campbell group and laid on an increasingly impoverished population.Ã‚Â Education is being attacked.Ã‚Â Protection of children is being slashed by calculated legislation. The new Clean Energy Act is a simple ruse to destroy the publicly accountable B.C. Utilities Commission. A slow, continuous undermining of universal health care is Ã¢â‚¬â€œ to the observing Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a calculated, continuous government policy.
In short, all levels of accountability to the public for the use (and misuse) of government and corporate power are being undermined or destroyed outright in British Columbia.
The Canadian scene is mirrored throughout the Western World.Ã‚Â The meltdown of financial institutions in the last years Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and the present impoverishment of whole countries – is the result of government becomingÃ‚Â an arm of private corporate behaviour.Ã‚Â So-called international institutions (the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc.) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ which are in fact ruled from the U.S. – practice the destitution of nations to give advantage to private corporations.
In Venezuela Ã¢â‚¬â€œ fiercely democratic Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the foreign, private, corporate throttle-hold on natural wealth has been broken.Ã‚Â Poverty levels have fallen dramatically.Ã‚Â Health care and education for the population have increased hearteningly.Ã‚Â The financial state of the country is better than many in the European community AND the U.S. whose massive indebtedness is disguised behind pre-eminent military power. Unable to describe Venezuela as Ã¢â‚¬ËœcommunistÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Ã¢â‚¬ËœterroristÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ or Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmuslim fundamentalistÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ U.S. Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton urges the country to return to health and the Ã¢â‚¬Å“market economyÃ¢â‚¬Â as the U.S. builds (in violation of the Colombian constitution) more than a dozen new military bases in Colombia to Ã¢â‚¬Å“encircleÃ¢â‚¬Â (?) Venezuela.
The Enron disaster was followed by the private banks collapse and the now on-going Goldman Sachs investigations.Ã‚Â Those are not the proverbialÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“few rotten apples in a barrelÃ¢â‚¬Â. They represent the barrel itself, rotten, and contaminating everything inside the barrel, a system of government-protected criminality intended to transfer power from the population (in fact) to the private corporations – and to effect that transfer globally.
That, in short, describes the practice of the Gordon Campbell government in British Columbia. I insist it is Ã¢â‚¬Å“a system of government-protected criminality intended to transfer power from the population to the private corporationsÃ¢â‚¬Â, and doubtless to the delight of Hilliary Clinton Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in B.C. they are mostly private corporations integrated with or, in fact, a part of the U.S. corporate capitalist system.
How, you might ask Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ how does the trial of three really unimportant British Columbia cabinet aides (all of whom happen to be local Sikhs) for (variously) allegations of fraud, breach of trust, and money laundering (engaging in bribery for petty personal advantage, etc.) have anything to do with the global meltdown before our eyes?
Draw near.Ã‚Â Listen carefully.Ã‚Â I will tell you.
As the new century opened Gordon Campbell began his manipulations towards power in the province.Ã‚Â I believe he was involved in what I have come to call Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthe fraudulent investigation and trial of Glen ClarkÃ¢â‚¬Â, NDP premier accused of seeking benefits in the building of a ten or twelve thousand dollar sundeck on his modest Vancouver East home.Ã‚Â Clark was ruined as the result of a protracted public RCMP investigation and a 136 day trial (which found him innocent of all allegations of wrong doing).Ã‚Â B.C. press and media excelled themselves in yellow journalism. The RCMP investigation was highly suspicious. The NDP was left in disarray (and two former premiers called for a public inquiry into the whole matter).
Gordon Campbell came to power, wading through the sleaze created by what I believe were a wholly trumped-up investigation, trial, and media rape.
Campbell intended to destroy the major publicly owned sources of wealth in the province, to hand all natural wealth to private corporations, to shift taxes from those corporations to the public, and to create an increasingly disenfranchised population with a lower and lower standard of living. He has engaged in those activities since he took power. And he has built a huge tax-paid propaganda machine Ã¢â‚¬â€œ as well as neutering the major press and media in the province Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in order to complete his work in a fog of deception and misinformation.
Somehow he has been gifted with a formal political Opposition which appears (to me) to cooperate with his worst intentions by failing to provide effective criticism, public education, or action to bring his wrong doing to account.Ã‚Â That Opposition concentrates on whatever is trivial in the Campbell policy, NEVER providing analyses of the kind that is written here.
The first thrust of Gordon Campbell policy to destroy the publicly-owned, viable, and long-term wealth of the province began with the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR. (I believe that undertaking involves criminal wrong doing which the RCMP refuses to investigate.Ã‚Â Other privatizing activity of the Campbell government, I believe, as well, involves criminal wrong doing that goes relentlessly uninvestigated by RCMP.)Ã‚Â See the comment on my belief by RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass below.
The Campbell sleight-of-hand has been made possible by a shift of perception in the West Ã¢â‚¬â€œ fostered constantly by the corporate press and media.Ã‚Â The courts and the police have accepted Ã¢â‚¬â€œ almost blindly Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that Ã¢â‚¬Å“governmentÃ¢â‚¬Â activity, however plainly in breach of the trust placed in government by the voting population, MUST be seen as legitimate.
In the case of the BC Rail Scandal, I have concluded after years of study and attendance at the pre-trial hearings in court that Gordon Campbell and his associates constructed a wholly false picture of BC Rail.Ã‚Â Flying in the face of his election promise, they set to work by misrepresentation of fact, by actions to disable BC Rail efficiency, by fragmenting and disintegrating an effective structure, and by employing supporters, paid officers, and a large civil service to prepare an essentially fraudulent case for the Ã¢â‚¬Å“saleÃ¢â‚¬Â of BC Rail to CNR.
As part of that program and policy they constructed a wholly false Ã¢â‚¬Å“public auction Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and Ã¢â‚¬Å“open bidding processÃ¢â‚¬Â for BC Rail which was Ã¢â‚¬â€œ from the earliest point Ã¢â‚¬â€œ intended to transfer and did transfer BC Rail to the CNR.
If Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you may ask Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the Ã¢â‚¬Å“fixÃ¢â‚¬Â was in so early, and if the fraudulent policy was pursued with relentlessness, how did Gordon Campbell and his associates get trapped into permitting a criminal investigation of three really unimportant British Columbia cabinet aides who were small parts of the huge machinery set up to Ã¢â‚¬Å“sellÃ¢â‚¬Â BC Rail.
The answer to that question necessarily involves some speculation.Ã‚Â As early as 2001 RCMP and Victoria police began a large investigation into growing drug activity.Ã‚Â The Force used wire-taps as well as other kinds of investigation.
As it investigated for at least 20 months, findings pointed in many directions Ã¢â‚¬â€œ possible money laundering, Agricultural Land abuses, profits of crime, BC Rail misdoings, as well as drug trade activities.Ã‚Â Many RCMP officers became involved.Ã‚Â The investigation took on the name Ã¢â‚¬Å“every-which-wayÃ¢â‚¬Â and led, it is alleged, into B.C. legislature offices.
That is the point at which an Ã¢â‚¬Å“investigation crisisÃ¢â‚¬Â appears to have been reached.Ã‚Â RCMP believed serious misconduct may have been involved in the preparations for sale of BC Rail.Ã‚Â Cabinet aides might be allegedÃ‚Â to have been involved in the transfer of confidential cabinet information Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ for personal advantage.
At the same time, the cabinet – RCMP seems to have suspected Ã¢â‚¬â€œ may have been engaged in highly questionable activity in the BC Rail affair.Ã‚Â Minister of Finance Gary Collins, for instance, was under surveillance Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ and was being investigated by RCMP.Ã‚Â Attention upon Collins had to connect with the rest of the cabinet and with Gordon Campbell, the architect and author of the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR.
That was in the fall and early winter of 2003.Ã‚Â That was the time when, apparently, certain matters came to an abrupt (and unrecorded) conclusion.Ã‚Â A few (at least) cabinet members and high civil servants were consulted about the coming (Dec. 28, 2003) search warrant Ã¢â‚¬Å“raidsÃ¢â‚¬Â on the legislature offices of Dave Basi and Bobby Virk (and some other offices and locations in Victoria and Vancouver).Ã‚Â No plan was on foot to examine the office of Minister of Finance Gary Collins or the office of Gordon Campbell.
Foreseeing that criminal charges would arise out of investigations, a Special Crown Prosecutor was sought.Ã‚Â More than one (in series) was appointed.Ã‚Â I have asked Attorney General Michael de Jong to review and report on the matter.Ã‚Â He wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it, and he wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t answer my last letter on the subject. (Seeking through a list for a Special Crown Prosecutor who will do the bidding of the Attorney General or his allies is a primary violation of the purpose of the Special Crown Prosecutor who is Ã¢â‚¬â€œ by definition Ã¢â‚¬â€œ someone who must be completely impartial AND be perceived to be so.)
We know that early in December, 2003, the RCMP had Gary Collins in their sights.Ã‚Â We know that William Berardino was appointed Special Crown Prosecutor on or about December 12.Ã‚Â And we know that – almost at that date Ã¢â‚¬â€œ all investigation of Gary Collins ceased without any available record of termination.Ã‚Â We know that the now-famous search warrant raids on the legislature offices of Dave Basi and Bobby VirkÃ‚Â were conducted on December 28 and that, immediately, the RCMP announced that no Ã¢â‚¬Å“electedÃ¢â‚¬Â official was under investigation or would be.
From December 28, 2003, only Basi, Virk, and Basi were pursued.Ã‚Â Every Gordon Campbell cabinet member and every Campbell MLA was an Ã¢â‚¬Å“interestedÃ¢â‚¬Â party in the criminal trial to follow.Ã‚Â That is because theÃ‚Â three cabinet aides charged (Basi, Virk, and Basi) were all servants of the cabinet and/or the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Campbell governmentÃ¢â‚¬Â.Ã‚Â Cabinet and MLAs (and top civil servants) had to be Ã¢â‚¬Å“interestedÃ¢â‚¬Â because the three men were at work not only on Ã¢â‚¬Å“government businessÃ¢â‚¬Â generally but also specifically at work on the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR.
What began as a drug investigation shaped into a many-pronged effort, including search of the corrupt sale of BC Rail.Ã‚Â At a point in 2003, however, by what appears to have been an agreement between the cabinetÃ‚Â and the RCMP, all investigation of Ã¢â‚¬Å“elected officialsÃ¢â‚¬Â ceased and all effort was focused on the three cabinet aides.
It is almost as if the RCMP said Ã¢â‚¬Å“we wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t end these months and months of investigation Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and conduct raids on the legislature Ã¢â‚¬â€œ without laying some charges.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â And it is as if the Campbell group said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Okay, go after those three lackeys.Ã‚Â ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll look good, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll paper over the real authors of the fraudulent activity undertaken to dump BC RailÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Persistently requesting the RCMP to do a major, publicly announced investigation into wider aspects of criminal involvement in the BC Rail Scandal, I received another reply from Deputy Commissioner Gary BassÃ‚Â dated April 15, 2010.Ã‚Â In it he answers in a way which is so murky a reader might believe the RCMP is investigating Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ or that it is not.Ã‚Â Here are his words, for the reader to decide what Commanding Officer Bass is saying:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Certain aspects of the sale of BC Rail are, as you know, still before the courts.Ã‚Â The RCMP does not comment publicly on investigations.Ã‚Â The rationale for this approach is to preserve the privacy rights of individuals as well as to maintain the integrity of our investigations.Ã‚Â I have every confidence that the operational units tasked with carriage of this and related matters will make sound decisions with respect to the appropriate steps that need to be taken.Ã¢â‚¬Â
We know now, too, that William Berardino was appointed Ã¢â‚¬â€œ flying in the face of all Crown Counsel, all Special (Crown) Prosecutor, and other relevant Prosecutor legislation Ã¢â‚¬â€œ as Special Crown Prosecutor.Ã‚Â We know that he was appointed by a ministry in which the Attorney General, Geoff Plant, had been his partner and colleague for seven years.Ã‚Â The Deputy Attorney General, Allan Seckel, had been partner and colleague of Mr. Berardino for eleven years.Ã‚Â By every statement and every intention of legislation creating the position of Special (Crown) Prosecutor the appointment of William Berardino was improper.
As I said a little earlier, every member of cabinet (and every highly placed member of the civil service) was an Ã¢â‚¬Å“interestedÃ¢â‚¬Â party in the coming trial of the three cabinet aides.Ã‚Â And so the appointed Special Crown Prosecutor should have been someone who had no contact whatever with cabinet or high civil servants.Ã‚Â He (or she) should have been unassociated at any time with the three accused men AND with any member of cabinet and any high civil service operative.Ã‚Â Instead, William BerardinoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s connections and contacts were high level, long term, and Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ one might fairly suspect Ã¢â‚¬Â¦may have been the reason he was appointed to the post!
In 2005 (about two years after being appointed), when Geoff Plant very strangely left politics, Mr. Berardino contributed election money to the campaign of PlantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s replacement, Wally Oppal. (Mr. Oppal is presently facing a civil action for allegations of misusing the Attorney General role in the appointment of a Special Crown Prosecutor.) We know, too, that in the Spring of 2007 when Gordon Campbell may have felt endangered by cabinet evidence being revealed in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case, he unilaterally dissolved the working process by which Defence received cabinet materials believed relevant to the defence of the accused.
Campbell announced that authority for disclosure of cabinet materials would henceforth be placed in the hands of Allan Seckel, Deputy Attorney General.Ã‚Â Campbell added that Mr. Seckel would consult on the disclosure matters with the Special Crown Prosecutor William Berardino who just happened to have been a partner and colleague of Allan SeckelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s for eleven years Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and only a few years before Seckel was named Deputy Attorney General.
The wrongful appointment of William Berardino alone, I believe, is grounds for stopping the actions arising from the corrupt sale of BC Rail to CNR Ã¢â‚¬â€œ until a new Special (Crown) Prosecutor can be named and all investigations (and charges) completely reviewed and amplified to include persons alleged to have been centrally involved.
Even the Vancouver Sun Ã¢â‚¬â€œ pretty obviously a supporter of the new private corporate form of government and of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthe Gordon Campbell systemÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ – got trapped into admitting the real situation.Ã‚Â It declares that the present fiasco (only the most recent one) over a Special Crown Prosecutor gives no reason for Ã¢â‚¬Å“indictment of the B.C.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s special prosecutor systemÃ¢â‚¬Â.Ã‚Â Then it goes on to show (in fact) that Attorney Generals Geoff Plant, Wally Oppal, and now Miichael de JongÃ‚Â (in a row) have all misused the power to appoint.
The Sun editorial says (correctly) that Special Prosecutors Ã¢â‚¬Å“are senior lawyers in private practice who are hired in cases where there may be a perceived conflict of interest for a Crown prosecutor, usually because an alleged offence involves a politician, a senior public servant, a police officer or an employee in the justice system.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â [Sun, May 6, 2010 A14]
Geoff Plant was Attorney General when William Berardino was appointed.Ã‚Â Wally Oppal was the Attorney General who is presently facing a civil trial for allegedly rigging appointment of a Special Prosecutor in theÃ‚Â Bountiful bigamy case. And Michael de Jong sat unperturbed (and apparently unchecking) as Terry Robertson was appointed in the Solicitor General, Kash Heed affair.
Three Attorney Generals in a row messing up. That may be proof to the CanWest paper that the Ã¢â‚¬Å“systemÃ¢â‚¬Â is working.Ã‚Â It will not be proof to the rest of Canadians.
The revelations presented here, so far Ã¢â‚¬â€œ only skimming the surface of the BC Rail Scandal Ã¢â‚¬â€œ might fairly lead observers to some very negative conclusions.Ã‚Â In addition, the Attorney GeneralÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ministry refuses to discuss the appointment of Mr. Berardino on the false grounds that his appointment (in 2003) is included in present sub judice matters in the present Basi, Virk, and Basi case.Ã‚Â Now, Michael de Jong refuses to respond in any way to correspondence on the matter.Ã‚Â He is trying, I believe, to escape facing the wrongful appointment by disappearing into silence.
By the same token, the Chief Justice of the B.C. Supreme Court, the Associate Chief Justice, and the trial judge Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie refuse to discuss Mr. BerardinoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wrongful appointment.Ã‚Â They have not answered my last letter on the gravity of the matter.
In addition, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass refuses (as far as I have been able to determine by asking him directly) to move in any way to undertake public criminal investigation of Gordon Campbell and his associates in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to CNR.
One negative conclusion is that the three accused men Ã¢â‚¬â€œ whatever their guilt or innocence -Ã‚Â have been chosen, targetted, and set-up to provide a focus of wrong in the BC Rail Scandal in order to provide cover for those I believe, are the major and dominating people in what was a concerted policy and program involving (at least) criminal breach of trust.
To put the matter in the context of the breakdown of democratic accountability all over the Western world, I firmly believe the major Ã¢â‚¬Å“protectiveÃ¢â‚¬Â institutions in the province are engaged in the calculated destruction of the law and the administration of justice in the province.Ã‚Â By the major Ã¢â‚¬Å“protectiveÃ¢â‚¬Â institutions I mean the Attorney GeneralÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ministry (the cabinet), some major Supreme Court officers, the BC RCMP, the mainstream press and media, and the conventional political Opposition party in B.C.
In short Ã¢â‚¬Å“the systemÃ¢â‚¬Â being operated in British Columbia at the present is more and more one in which criminality is protected and/or participated in by government, police, press, and the courts.Ã‚Â The criminality may Ã¢â‚¬â€œ incidentally Ã¢â‚¬â€œ provide access to Ã¢â‚¬Ëœdirty wealthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ for some individuals.Ã‚Â But its primary purpose is to transfer power from the population to private corporations greedy for more and more Ã¢â‚¬Å“governmentalÃ¢â‚¬Â power.Ã‚Â The purpose of the present system in British Columbia is to end meaningful democratic, representational government and democratic accountability.
That is why the Gordon Campbell government is tripping over its feet every day now.Ã‚Â And it is why Ã¢â‚¬â€œ as things stand Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the trial of Dave Basi, Bobby Virk, and Aneal BasiÃ‚Â (scheduled to start on May 17) can be nothing but a huge, fraudulent, theatrical event.